Prince’s video image was used during Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl LII halftime show on Sunday — not not the hologram that had captured the public imagination.
There had been reports that Timberlake would perform with a hologram of the late pop star on the Super Bowl stage — which Prince’s brother Omarr Baker had publicly shot down on Saturday.
That did not turn out to be the case — instead of a hologram, a moving image of Prince from “Purple Rain” was projected from a sheet hanging from the rafters as Timberlake sat behind a piano and performed a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.”
And the family’s official Twitter account endorsed the approach that Timberlake took as a “beautiful tribute” to the late singer.
— PRNFamily® (@PRNFamily) February 5, 2018
— PRNFamily® (@PRNFamily) February 4, 2018
Ahead of the Super Bowl, a tweet from an account managed by Prince’s brother, Omarr Baker, indicated that the family objected to Timberlake’s plan to honor Prince in his hometown of Minneapolis by projecting a hologram of the late superstar during the performance.
Baker’s tweet was simply a red circle with a line through it and #PrinceHologram.
— PRNFamily® (@PRNFamily) February 3, 2018
Prince fans did not take kindly to the idea of the hologram “appearance” in large part because they say he was not a fan of Timberlake’s.
Many focused on the fact that the two musicians appeared to have some sort of rivalry, dating back to a 2006 insult from Prince mocking Timberlake’s hit single “Sexyback.” Timberlake, in turn, shot back at the 2007 Oscars when he mocked the musician’s height while accepting the Best Original Song award on his behalf.
“Did we all miss the part where they reconciled while Prince was alive or?? Just me?” one Twitter user wrote.
A fan replied to Baker’s tweet, asking if the decision was because his family didn’t authorize it or that it just wasn’t happening. Baker answered, “Both.”
– PRNFamily® (@PRNFamily) February 3, 2018